Baby photography is a fun. Rarely we can capture a boring expression of a baby. Even if a baby is crying, he or she will look adorable.
This genre of photography is slightly different from child photography. A grown up child is a difficult subject to shoot, but a small baby, which cannot crawl is a much easier subject. Baby will not run away from camera frame and we can take time to set the camera for creative angle and proper lighting.
Lower shooting angle is preferable. We can explore and shoot in available light with slightly higher ISO settings, may be, up to 400. Aperture setting of f-5.6 or f-8 is just enough to blur the back ground, or if you prefer, use wider aperture.
Focusing should be on eyes of the baby. If the shooting angle is slightly oblique, then focus on the eye, which is closer to the camera.
Shoot against light. This will give a separation of the main subject, that is baby, from the back ground. Use a white or a silver reflector to bounce back light on the face. This will lit up the face with soft light, and eliminate any harsh shadow.
Avoid using flash light for baby photography. A head on camera flash will not only make the picture flat, but it may harm the delicate eyes. We can place the baby against light in such a way, that soft light source is facing the camera. Now place a white reflector to open up shadow area and all is done! High light created on the contour of face will produce beautiful out line, and baby skin tone will be rendered as a most enticing manner. Be sure to cut off the extraneous light falling on the lens, for which, a good lens hood is required. Or block the light with a black cutter.
A lens between 135 to 200 mm on 35 mm camera is preferable, which is equivalent to 85 mm to 135 mm on most of the small format DSLR cameras. This lens will give you enough distance from the baby, and facial proportion along with the body will not be distorted. We can use longer tele lens, but that will increase the chance of camera shake.
Soft focus filter on the lens will remove unwanted texture and the baby will be recorded in a soft, misty and delicate manner. Be sure of camera white balance setting, which should match with the light source. Photograph, contaminated with blue, yellow or green color cast will look insipid, which is not acceptable in baby photography.
High key pictures work well as they represent happiness and brightness. However, we may try a low key photography, if the subject and story has that type of demand.
As the baby is not going to take any directions from you, patience is required. In most of the case, family members will try to cheer up the baby, but it will hardly work. It all depends on the mood of the baby and if he or she is well fed and slept, your task is simple.
Read more about various subjects of photography
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Fine art photography
Food photography tips
Photography in direct sun light
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